As the temperatures drop, and the fall weather slowly transitions to snow and ice, many homeowners don’t realize what they could be doing now to prepare their home for winter. In fact, a little preparation now can dramatically reduce the likelihood of damage and lower your seasonal energy costs!
Here’s what you can do now to prepare your home for winter weather!
Service your furnace
Furnaces and heating systems that are well serviced run more efficiently, cost less to operate, and require less maintenance! This means that your home will be kept warmer while using less fuel. In addition to the potential cost savings, a furnace technician will ensure that your furnace is operating safely and not releasing carbon monoxide or other hazards into your home.
Get your fireplace ready
Over time, creosote can build up on the inside walls of your fireplace. This doesn’t just obstruct airflow and encourage downdrafts, it can be a serious fire hazard! Avoid these potential issues and safety risks by having a qualified chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney before you start using it for the season.
Now is a great time to also look at other improvements or safety features you can make to your fireplace. Does it need a new screen? Do you have one at all? Is your blower motor functioning properly? Now is your chance to take care of these things before you need it!
Order fuel (firewood, oil, etc.)
Whether you have a fireplace or an oil furnace, deliveries can be delayed during the winter. Instead of being left out in the cold (literally), ordering fuel in advance will ensure that you’re well prepared when the temperatures drop. To avoid running out, we recommend reordering when you have at least 2 weeks of supply left.
Seal gaps and drafts
A drafty door or window may not seem like a major problem, but they can allow a tremendous amount of heat out! If you suspect you have a draft, installing weather stripping along the inside of your doorway / window opening can keep the heat inside where it belongs. If you’re not sure if you have any drafts or not, moving a candle or incense stick across doorways and windows can point out potential issues – if the flame or smoke moves, you have a draft.
Water supply lines, particularly those in basements and crawlspaces, can freeze and break during periods of low temperatures. This can cause significant damage inside your home that will require a professional Water Damage Mitigation firm to properly address. In many cases, these broken pipes can be avoided by better insulating water supply pipes with pipe insulation or heat tape.
Turn off exterior faucets
Exterior faucets can freeze and leak. Before the cold weather hits, turn off the water supply to external plumbing and drain these lines. If you don't have a shutoff to exerior plumbing, contact a plumber to have one installed. Leaks from external plumbing can enter the home and result in significant interior damage.
Prepare for snow
Whether you need to have your snow blower serviced or you just need to stock up on rock salt, getting these things out of the way now can save you a lot of stress later. While most of us may try to avoid thinking about snow until it’s in the forecast, that’s exactly when everyone else starts thinking about it too! Instead of being at the mercy of the stores and small engine repair services, prepare now and avoid the rush.
We hope that these tips help you get your home ready for the winter weather! If there's ever anything we can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to Contact Our Offices, we’re happy to help!
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*This story originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Connections Magazine, as part of a monthly contribution made by Disaster Blaster, Inc. Please check out the current issue of Connections Magazine for this month's story!
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